In a sign of fresh trouble brewing in the ruling alliance in Maharashtra, the BJP’s desire to get the chief minister’s post again appears to have caused unease in the Shiv Sena.
Members of the core committee of the state BJP unit recently had a meeting with party president Amit Shah, in which Shah is learnt to have set a target of winning 228 of the 288 Assembly seats in the state in the upcoming elections.
“The BJP should have its CM this time also, and with an increased mandate,” Shah reportedly told the party workers.
This has caused unrest in the Sena, which has been aspiring to the post for a long time.
When the alliance was sealed ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had said that in the Assembly polls, the BJP and Shiv Sena would share an equal number of seats after distributing seats to smaller allies.
Shiv Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande said that Fadnavis had spoken in public about the BJP and Shiv Sena sharing posts and responsibilities equally, and hence Sena’s wish to get the CM’s post was not unfounded.
A Sena leader said that the party would want a major chunk of Assembly seats in Mumbai, Thane, Pune and Nashik — four cities it has ruled for a long time.
The BJP however, is unlikely to give up seats it has won in these areas. This issue, if not resolved, may cause rebellion in the alliance during the Assembly polls.
The Lok Sabha polls saw the BJP-led NDA that includes the Shiv Sena winning 41 of 48 seats in Maharashtra.